Calling for a long-term plan to develop India-China relations, Chinese President Xi Jinping who had lengthy meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai said bilateral differences should not be allowed to “dilute” the cooperation and the dance of the dragon and the elephant is the only “correct choice” for both sides.
A lengthy report by the state-run Xinhua news agency on Saturday on the two days of talks between Modi and Xi at Mamallapuram said the two leaders had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on China-India relations and the president said, “We should carefully handle issues concerning each other’s core interests. We should properly manage and control problems that cannot be solved for the time being.”
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The two leaders also discussed major international and regional issues of common interest in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, it said. Xi pointed out that since his successful meeting with Modi in Wuhan last year, China-India relations have entered a new stage of sound and stable development, and the positive effects of the meeting are constantly emerging.
The Chinese president, who had several hours of talks with Modi during their 2nd informal summit on Friday and Saturday, proposed a six-point formula for the continuous development of ties without letting the differences disrupting the relations, the report said.
“First, we should take a correct view of each other’s development and enhance strategic mutual trust,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying in the detailed report filed on the the talks. After the two-day talks, which mostly confined to the conversations between the two leaders in a relaxed manner followed by delegation level talks in the end, Xi said “no matter from any point of view, China and India should be good neighbours and good partners who live in harmony and move forward hand in hand.”
“Dragon and the elephant dance is the only correct choice for China and India, which is in the fundamental interests of both countries and their people,” he said, without specifying differences between the two countries. “Differences between the two countries should be viewed in a correct way. We should not let them dilute the overall interests of bilateral cooperation. At the same time, we should seek understanding through communication and constantly resolve differences,” Xi said.
He suggested that both countries should carry out strategic communication in a timely and effective manner, enhance mutual understanding and cooperation, and firmly grasp the general direction of the development of bilateral relations. “Focus on friendship and cooperation, resolve suspicions and doubts, and properly handle differences and sensitive issues,” he was quoted as saying.
Stating that the next few years would be critical for the two countries, Xi said, “The two countries should and certainly can embark on a bright road of friendly cooperation”. On the border dispute along the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC), Xi said “in accordance with the agreement on political guiding principles, we will seek a fair and reasonable solution to the border issue that is acceptable to both sides”.
“We should carefully handle issues concerning each other’s core interests. We should properly manage and control problems that cannot be solved for the time being,” he said. Xi also suggested that both the countries should improve the level of military security exchanges and cooperation.
“We should promote the development of military-to-military relations in the right direction of enhancing trust, clearing up misgivings and friendly cooperation,” he said. “We should carry out professional cooperation, joint exercises and training, enhance mutual trust between the two militaries, strengthen cooperation between law enforcement and security departments, and maintain regional security and stability,” he said.
On India’s complaint of trade deficit which mounted to over USD 57 billion last year in over USD 95 billions of total trade, Xi said “We should take the establishment of the high-level economic and trade dialogue as an opportunity to synergise our economic development strategies and explore the establishment of a manufacturing partnership.”
“We welcome Indian pharmaceutical and information technology companies to invest and cooperate in China,” Xi said, apparently referring to India’s persistent demand that China should open up its pharma sector for Indian companies to address the trade deficit. He also mooted China-India Plus formula for the two countries to forge ties with countries in neighbourhood and Africa.
Xi also called for strengthening coordination within the framework of the G20, BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Russia-India-China (RIC) and other multilateral mechanisms. He said both the countries should enrich cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cement the foundation of friendship.
“We should ensure the success of next year’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and the China-India year of people-to-people exchanges,” Xi said. “We will support China’s Fujian province in establishing friendship city relations with Tamil Nadu, Guangzhou and Chennai, and write a new chapter in the history of the maritime silk road,” he said. Under the current international situation, Xi said, China and India should shoulder increasingly important responsibilities in maintaining global stability and promoting development.